Beer is back in Buffalo. It appears that around every corner there is a groundswell of brewers contributing to the wave of microbrews that are jostling for position to launch through the starting gates. Then there are others that are already off to a great start. The newest brewery to hit the ground running is Resurgence Brewing Company (RBC), located at 1250 Niagara Street (near Rich Products) in a building that looks like it was built for just such a purpose.
RBC President/owner Jeff Ware recently moved back to Buffalo from NYC where he and his wife were both in the brewing industry – Jeff at Boston Beer Company and his wife at Sam Adams. A home brewer himself, Jeff told me that kept a low profile in Buffalo until he came across the prefect fit – a building location that would serve his concept justice. When he came across Bill Breeser’s sprawling day-lit warehouse (also home to Riverkeeper), he immediately knew that he had found the future site for his brew house – tanks, production area, and indoor/outdoor beer garden. “It was the natural light that spoke to me,” Jeff said. “It’s the perfect spot for brewing high quality beer, and inviting beer-lovers inside to enjoy the seasonal varieties. Here we will be able to make it, tap it and taste it within minutes of completing the brewing process. We’ll also be able to alter the batches depending on the feedback from the educated consumer. Then we’ll take the best brews and produce them for distribution… the plan is to be brewing 5000 barrels in two to three years, with most of that being distributed to the bar and restaurant industry.”
The beer garden that Jeff is planning is unlike anything that Buffalo has seen to date. As luck would have it, there is a decent-sized lawn that is adjacent to the building that will be perfect for setting up German-style picnic bench arrangements. That same traditional beer garden look and feel will be featured inside the warehouse too, with tap systems being situated directly next to the cold-room, looking over the green space. Clear garage doors will open in order to create a flow between the indoor and the outdoor seating areas. There will be a small shared food plate concept added to the mix so that visitors will be able to sample beers that are paired with different tastings. To add to the experience, Jeff is planning on adding a set of bocce ball courts for the customers. During the winter, the building will be heated by tubular gas fired radiant heat, along with heat output generated by the brewing process, that will be an open viewing field for all to see. Jeff also expressed that the pure size of the building and the surrounding grounds (including parking for up to 100 cars) will allow for expansion as he sees fit. Possible additions to the business model might include distilling whiskey and/or rum down the road. “I want Resurgence to be the catalyst for the next big idea,” Jeff told me. “We are so excited to be back in Buffalo, and we want people to visit Resurgence and be inspired to move forward with their own ideas. We came up with the name for the brewery as a dedication to the turnaround that Buffalo is experiencing… there is a resurgence going on here and we’re happy to be a part of it.”